Please support the trade during lockdown by making use of the many delivery and take-out possibilities now on offer.
Not a member?
Unlock unique privileged access to the UK’s best restaurants and members’ clubs when you join Harden's Club

survey result

Not enough people have commented yet

Our reviews are based on an annual survey of ordinary diners which runs in Spring each year. But this establishment has not yet gathered enough feedback for our editors to write it up.

Do you think it deserves to be better known?

Write a quick review now using our restaurant diary service. That way it might catch our attention. Next survey, you can transfer your diary entry into our survey system. Everyone who contributes 5 or more reviews in our survey will qualify for a free guide.

For 30 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.

Have you eaten at Bedford & Strand?

Restaurant details


Harden's says...

Bedford & Strand WC2

According to its mission statement, this Covent Garden basement has recently been re-launched by some 'friends' - all with backgrounds in bars and booze - as a place where customers can enjoy 'interesting and exciting' wines in a 'relaxed and convivial atmosphere'. Hard to argue with that (or, indeed, with their reasonably-priced selection of less 'obvious' wines).

What the mission omits any mention of, however, is food. Traditionally, wine bars have served up posh picnic fare, perhaps spiced up with a hearty hot dish of the day - the sorts of creations that don't require much last-minute prep. There is indeed a 'deli' section here which does all that. The friends, however, have decided to up the ante by also incorporating a full-service 'bistro'.

Big mistake. To start with, the prices are proper restaurant prices, and the level of comfort in this not-especially atmospheric basement - paper tablecloths notwithstanding - is that of a wine bar. More importantly, the food is just not up to scratch for the money. A nearly £40 lunch for one (with two drinks) should not end with a sad lemon tart that looked as if it had been bought in. Nor should it start with a dry, toasted mini-loaf, when it was bread that had been requested. Especially when what has come in-between was a fish soup (a small bowl, but admittedly rich in protein), and some rather bland chicken 'n' chips.

So, 'friends', here is a piece of possibly unwelcome advice: can the bistro, expand the deli, and stick to what you know best. The West End undoubtedly needs more places like this in which you can sink a bottle of decent vino. But places serving ordinary food at high prices? It's got enough of those already.

See the Review
1a Bedford St, London, WC2E 9HH
Make A Booking
Number of Diners:
Required Time:
Powered by OpenTable
Opening hours

lunch noon - 3 pm, dinner 5.30 pm - 11 pm
Last orders: 10.30 pm